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India-Bangladesh Connectivity Gets Boost as Maitri Setu Bridge Readies for Passengers

© AP Photo / Anupam NathPassengers wave from inside a bus on a trial run from Gauhati to Dhaka in Bangladesh, in Gauhati, India
Passengers wave from inside a bus on a trial run from Gauhati to Dhaka in Bangladesh, in Gauhati, India - Sputnik India, 1920, 08.06.2024
Without a significant boost in trade and commerce, efforts to improve national highways would be futile said Tripura state's industry and commerce chief, who stressed the importance of building industrial estates along highways.
Passenger traffic through the Maitri Setu Bridge, linking India and Bangladesh in South Tripura district, will begin by September this year.
The bridge's opening ceremony was held virtually on March 9 2021, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina presiding.
Spanning the Feni river, which forms the boundary between Tripura state in India and Bangladesh, the 1.9 km bridge connects Sabroom in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh.

"The Maitri setu has already been inaugurated. The land port is almost ready," Tripura Industries and Commerce Secretary Kiran Gitte told a press conference on Friday. "The movement of passengers through the bridge will commence in September. It will take two or three months to introduce goods movement after passenger movement gets underway."

The movement of goods via the bridge is strategically significant not only for Tripura but also for the entire northeast region, as Bangladesh's Chittagong port lies just 80 km from Sabroom.
Gitte also noted the imminent reopening of the Kamalasagar border haat in Tripura's Sepahijala district, which had been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, only the Srinagar border haat in South Tripura district is operational.
Highlighting the Indian government's focus on establishing industrial estates along national highways, the trade chief said emphasized the significant development of those routes in recent years.

"If trade and business do not gain momentum, the objective of a facelift of national highways will be in vain," Gitte stressed. "Therefore, we are laying stress on setting up industrial estates along national highways to assist the existing industrial estates."

He added that India singed 14 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) totalling 1,861.51 crore rupees ($222 million) during the North-East Investment summit held in Delhi on March 6.
Following those agreements, six entrepreneurs have already invested 29.85 crore rupees ($3 million) for the establishment of industrial units in the north-eastern state.
Train operation starting on the Yandyki-Olya railroad stretch, crossing the Astrakhan Region. It is part of the North-South transnational transport corridor, which will link Russia with Iran, India and Southeast Asia (File) - Sputnik India, 1920, 21.05.2024
Political Affairs
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